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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2001 May;22(5):240-6.

HERG K+ channels: friend and foe.

Author information

  • 1Dept of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, UK CB2 1QW. jiv@mole.bio.cam.ac.uk

Erratum in

  • Trends Pharmacol Sci 2001 Aug;22(8):438.


The K+ channel encoded by the human ether-à-go-go related gene (HERG) is one of many ion channels that are crucial for normal action potential repolarization in cardiac myocytes. HERG encodes the pore-forming subunit of the rapid component of the delayed rectifier K+ channel, I(K(Vr)). HERG K+ channels are of considerable pharmaceutical interest as possible therapeutic targets for anti-arrhythmic agents and as the molecular target responsible for the cardiac toxicity of a wide range of pharmaceutical agents. Recent studies of the molecular basis of the promiscuity of HERG K+ channel drug binding has not only started to shed light on this tricky pharmaceutical problem but has also provided further insights into the structure and function of HERG K+ channels.

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